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Pics/Story of my non recovered deer

Old 12-05-2002, 02:47 PM
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Default Pics/Story of my non recovered deer

I initially asked the question about whether a late recovery was really a recovery. I already knew the answer as it pertained to my own situation, and I knew I would receive responses both ways, but was still curious as to what comments and the rationale behind them I would here. I was also hesitant to share my story, but decided that it might help someone else to stop and think before making a similar mistake, so here goes.
Several years ago, I started bow hunting only and became instantly hooked. While not as experienced as some of you,I am an avid bow hunter for deer, elk, and turkey and have had an acceptable level of success. Having harvested a doe several weeks before, I was content to hunt the remainder of the season for a mature buck or to let my remaining tags go unfilled.
But the other day I tried to force a shot on a mature buck that I would not have taken on a lesser animal. The deer was too close (7 yds), I was too high (17 ft), it would be a slight quartering in shot, and the deer was on a mission and moving fast due to the rut.
However,It was not a case of poor shot placement; the arrow hit the deer EXACTLY where I intended, but rather it was a case of poor shot selection. I am still convinvced that where I took my shot was probably the best shot opportunity I was going to get.
But the part that disappoints me in myself was why I tried to force the shot in the first place. The hunter I thought I was would have either waited for a higher percentage shot or would have been content to let the buck walk and wait for another day. But unfortunately, I let my desire for this particular deer override my ethical standards.
As I already said, I hit the deer exactly where I intended and I made a lethal hit but not before the deer ran over 400 yards. I got poor penetration with only 2/3 to 3/4 of the arrow penetrating. I immediately feared that the high hit and no pass thru was going to leave little if any blood trail and probably got only one lung.
I stayed on stand for 1 hr and then quietly got down and slipped out the back way and did not come back for 4 1/2 hours. This still left me around 5 hrs of daylight. Even though I searched long and hard and tried to stay methodical in my approach, I never found a blood trail, hair, or the arrow. I looked for another 3 hours the next day but to no avail. I consider my effort towards a full recovery acceptable; at times I was on my hand and knees to get through brush and I covered every possible place I could think of.BUT EXTRA EFFORT IN THE RECOVERY PHASE WAS NOT ENOUGH TO COMPENSATE FOR POOR SHOT SELECTION. When I was able to return 2 days later, I watched the crows for awhile and was able to locate what was left. To make matters worst, as far as peace of mind goes, I had walked within 15-20 yards of the spot he was at 3 different times, thinking I could see the area good enough from where I was at. Without a blood trail, recovery can be difficult.
The deer was a nice 8 point measuring over 4 1/2" in circumference at the base and had an inside spread of 20 1/4". Yes, I tagged the animal, and yes, I still have the horns, but due to the circumstances I am not sure what is the ethical and proper thing to do with them. As someone else has already mentioned, I might be able to fool others, but it is hard to lie to yourself. This was not a recovery. What a waste.

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Old 12-05-2002, 03:06 PM
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Default RE: Pics/Story of my non recovered deer

I know how you feel bud. 2 weeks ago I hit a nice 8 pointer also. The only difference is we haven't found his remains yet. My hopes stay high that he is alive, by my heart tells me otherwise.

Out of respect to the animal, I would not hide the antlers from sight. Might put them on a plack and not do a real mount. Why you might ask? Well I would want to be reminded of the error of my ways on that particular day...and what better way to do it as to have them where I will see them each day. A constant reminder a reality check!!

Tough luck on your buck, atleast you have put an end to it by finding him. I on the other hand think about mine everday, is he walking or is he dead somewhere?

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Old 12-05-2002, 09:47 PM
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Default RE: Pics/Story of my non recovered deer

Why don't you use his antlers for rattling antlers? Then he's always with you reminding you about shot selection. Just a thought.

KEEP IT LEGAL. KEEP IT SAFE. OR WE MAY NOT GET TO KEEP IT AT ALL.
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Old 12-05-2002, 10:13 PM
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Default RE: Pics/Story of my non recovered deer

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Out of respect to the animal, I would not hide the antlers from sight. Might put them on a plack and not do a real mount. Why you might ask? Well I would want to be reminded of the error of my ways on that particular day...and what better way to do it as to have them where I will see them each day. A constant reminder a reality check!!


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Most deffinately! In the same scenario I would feel the same way , but I would still do a plaque mount. I put all my bucks on plaques , big or small. Like IBM said , you could use the mount as a reminder or rattling antlers is an even better idea.
BTW cods , a seasoned veteran bowhunter gets there by trial and error. You just learned your biggest lesson! Sounds to me like the rest of your ethics and hunting skills are in order.


<---Doug---<<<
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Old 12-06-2002, 04:36 AM
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Default RE: Pics/Story of my non recovered deer

Your story sounds so close to mine in many ways. I did not make a poor shot choice( Lord knows I have in the past though), but rather had a peice of equpiment brake( still my fualt for not checking my bow over more carefully). The penetration was about the same, and the deer ran between 250 to 300 yards before bedding down and dying. If you read my reply to your other post, you know my feelings on the subject. You never stoped looking for the deer, so I feel you did &quot;recover&quot; him. Tracking is more than just finding blood or tracks. Use everything the good Lord puts in front of you, be it crows, coyotes, or you nose. I am not proud of what happend to me and my buck, but I did hang the antlers. They are now a constant reminder to always check your equipment, and for me at least simpler is better. For you, they can be a reminder of what happens with poor shot selection. I get exited, as all of us do. It becomes hard think clearly under the stress of having a shooter deer come so close. You want it so badly that sometimes it clouds your judgment. You are only Human, and from your story it sounds like a lesson learned, and that will only make you a better hunter. hang those antlers, be proud that you did not give up looking for the buck, and remember why it doesn't really feel complete. You can also rest easy in knowing that you just may have stopped someone else from making the same mistake by posting your story.

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Old 12-06-2002, 08:24 AM
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Default RE: Pics/Story of my non recovered deer

What is ethical about the whole episode is #1, you tagged the animal. Someone who wasn't ethical would have cut the antlers off and hunted more to get another buck. #2 you looked until you recovered the deer.
Fill a doe tag and use the cape to mount this nice buck so that he is on the wall to be honored and rightfully so.#3 you learned a lesson that won't be repeated.

THWACK!
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Old 12-06-2002, 08:38 AM
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Default RE: Pics/Story of my non recovered deer

I will also admit, that I have learned the hard way on that type of shot. I did get a passthough on the deer however and had a decent blood trail for 500 yards. But unfortunately the deer went on Federally Restricted Land (no chance of getting on it)and my search was over. The shot and curcumstances (even the timing) were pretty much identical to yours. I am sure that I took out one lung.
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Old 12-06-2002, 08:53 AM
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Default RE: Pics/Story of my non recovered deer

Holy cow...this scenario sounds so familiar it is scarey! I wounded an awesome buck 6 days ago under similar circumstances and have not been able to find him. It was a questionable shot, the buck was walking, steep angle, through what I thought was a clear lane but later discovered it was not. The only difference is I've not been able to find the buck I shot. I've looked for several hours on different occasions with different friends helping and still no luck. Perhaps he is still alive but I lost the blood trail after about a hundred yards or so and now it's like finding a needle in a haystack. If I did find him dead and the yotes and avian scavengers had gotten to him, I already told my friends I would be done for the year and would tag him. It is a very nasty and tough lesson learned is not an experience I ever want to go through again. I think you did the right thing. I would put the horns on a wall plaque and call it good.
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Old 12-06-2002, 09:00 AM
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Default RE: Pics/Story of my non recovered deer

I think you did the right things . You try'd to recover the deer and did but not in time to save the meat . Thinks happen ,if it was me that thing would be on my wall , thats quite a nice deer . Congrats

If information provided by the members of this board have helped you please let us know .
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Old 12-06-2002, 09:25 AM
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Default RE: Pics/Story of my non recovered deer

Once again I'm on board with BOWFANATIC - Man you are good.

I'll second his position on learning; learn something from every experience in the woods, good or bad for it is those moments that combine to make us &quot;veteran bowhunters&quot;.

Congratulations on a fine looking animal.



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